When startup founders think of getting started with growth hacking, one of the interim goals centers around achieving product/market fit.
But even before you’ve celebrated that milestone and refined your customer segmentation plans, there’s a big problem with product/market fit that many founders of tech startups overlook.
Steering Around This Super-Common Product/Market Fit Problem
In many of the IaaS, SaaS, and Fintech startups I've worked with, I see founders prematurely celebrating product/market fit.
Now, it's possible for a startup to have product/market fit for some period of time and then lose product/market fit as competitive market forces react and rapidly evolve.
Yes, most know that product/market fit is the degree to which you can sell to and satisfy strong market demand.
So you know exactly what products and services you're selling, who the buyers are, at what price points, and how often.
However, in any subscription-focused company that's based on recurring revenue (XaaS), product/market fit no longer tells the whole story because it focuses more on closed-won outcomes (the initial sale) -- rather than whether the products/services lead to customer success/customer activation and long-term retention.
Evolving Beyond Seeing Product/Market Fit as Reaching the Promised Land ⇒ Go-to-Market Fit
In a world where so much digital purchase influence comes from social proof and review websites, companies need to get obsessive about go-to-market fit rather than merely checking the box for a self-declared victory in the product/market fit department.
Circling back to customer segmentation, one of the easiest ways to tell if a company has achieved both product/market fit and go-to-market fit:
- For the primary and secondary buyer persona, how many documented case studies are there on the website?
- And how compelling are the case studies as tools for sales cycle acceleration during the Consider and Decision stages of the buyer's journey?
And just for the sake of clarity, a PDF-based or website page case study is no longer sufficient to match buyer expectations.
Those case studies should originate in video format for nearly all tech companies with a considered sales process and get repurposed into nicely formatted PDFs and website pages.